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The Scarlet & Black

Ice Cream Crawl: The rocky road less traveled

While some people have been screaming about Spring Break coming to an end, more people on campus have been screaming for ice cream with the re-opening of Dari Barn. Ice cream season has officially begun, despite the fact that Dairy Queen remains closed and Tyrone Greenfield ’11 graduated. For the first time in four years, there won’t be that subtle bit of hope inside students’ hearts that a truck full of Ben and Jerry’s might show up at Block Party. Given this predicament, The S&B thought that students might want a little bit of help finding the best ice cream place in town because when it comes to ice cream, every second counts. (That stuff melts!) Hopefully with this information, your new favorite day of the week will be sundae.

Candy Land: Candyland Sundae
“It’s the latest, it’s the greatest,” sings Dee Dee Sharp, in the opening lines of her hit song, “Mash Potato Time,” and if you were to walk into Candyland, odds are that you’ll hear the song on the jukebox; the line also summarizes all you need to know about Candyland (well, except for how great the ice cream is). It’s one of the newer ice cream establishments in town, although it can lay claim to feeling the most old-fashioned. Candyland is open year-round, and when you walk inside you are instantly transported to another time. I was greeted and encouraged to grab a booth. I ordered the diner’s namesake, the Candyland Sundae. A large is $3, and won the best-tasting sundae contest. My sundae arrived in a classic ice cream dish, and the rich ice cream came smothered in a sauce made from melted marshmallows, and topped with cocktail peanuts. I struggled with the bit of marshmallow sauce that had melted off the side of the dish—it was the first time in my life that I had to restrain myself from licking the outside of an ice cream dish. Candyland offers quite a few options, including root beer floats, shakes, malts, and other sundaes. If you’re headed there, though, get the Candyland Sundae; you’ll be blown away. If you want to take a trip down memory lane (memory lane is only .1 miles further from campus than Dari Barn), and get an unbelievably rich sundae for an unbelievable price, Candyland is the place to go. Take this Grinnell tradition of yesteryear and turn it into a 21st century Grinnell tradition.

Dari Barn: Brownie Sundae
This seasonal ice cream establishment has catered to Grinnell students for years, and has become part of the Grinnell condition, as well as a tradition. Dari Barn is only a few blocks from campus, and a pleasant walk—apart from the scary dog that looked like it could eat both my brother and me when we walked past. I love sitting right next to the tractor fleet so I can always get a good look at the Deere. There are tons of options on Dairy Barn’s menu ranging from cyclones (soft serve ice cream mixed with fruit, candy pieces, or cookie dough) and sundaes of all shapes and sizes including the Trick or Treat sundae, which is filled with bits of Snickers, Butterfinger, Twix, and other candy. According to their menu, the newest concoction is the Nutty Caramel Monkey Sundae made with caramel, monkey bites, and pecans. I went with the brownie sundae, which came in an “ark-like” plastic dish, and explained why it seemed like I was eating two of every flavor. There was soft serve vanilla ice cream somewhere underneath the maraschino cherry, whipped cream, and brownie bits. It tasted great. My brother’s blue raspberry slush was “superb.” One caution about Dari Barn is that it is a pricier than the other places on this list, but you do pay a premium for the wide variety of options. However, the most expensive price you’ll pay is the time you spend waiting in line, so if possible, go with friends.

McDonald’s: Hot Fudge Sundae
Venturing all the way to McDonald’s on foot really put me in the mood for a hot fudge sundae, and I must say McDonald’s did not disappoint. Let’s face it: McDonald’s is McDonald’s no matter where in the world you go, so it lacks the charm that Dari Barn and Candyland offer, and unlike those places, the ice cream at McDonald’s isn’t made with love. The hot fudge, on the other hand, is. The sundae seemed to be smaller than I remembered it, but it just made me want another one. In case you were wondering, I did manage to restrain myself. The McDonald’s sundae is $1.29, but it’s not really worth the trip unless you’re coming back from the Interstate or you’re struck by a sundae craving on your way out of Fareway that is so bad that it keeps you from walking the extra few steps to Candyland.

Kum & Go: Blue Bunny Cool Tube, Orange Sherbet
While browsing the individual ice cream freezer at Kum & Go, I passed on the Drumsticks and Klondike bars and opted for a trip down memory lane with an orange sherbet push-pop, or in scientific terms an Orange Sherbet Cool Tube. At the time, it didn’t occur to me that I’d be catering to the lactose intolerant community with this selection, but I’m glad I did. This delectably sweet and tangy bit of nostalgia’s only disappointment was that, like in younger days, more of the push-pop ended up on my clothing and the side of my face than in my mouth. If you’re in a pinch and are looking for something lighter, and more fruitful than ice cream, this may be the way to go.

Dining Hall Ice Cream Machine
With the exception of the North Campus/South Campus divide nothing seems to divide people more on campus than their D-Hall ice cream choice. Mint chocolate chunk or raspberry chocolate chunk? Disclaimer: I prefer raspberry chocolate chunk. Despite the fact that the Dining Hall ice cream pits us all against each other in some sort of twisted “hunger games,” while we wait for the slow cream to squeeze out of the machine, the Dining Hall does have Sundae Sunday. On Sunday nights, the readily available hot fudge quickly transforms the always-available vanilla ice cream into the perfect treat. I took a leap, though, and dove headfirst into the mint chocolate chunk. My preference for raspberry chocolate chunk comes from its nice combination of a fruit blend with the chocolate. Mint, on the other hand, tastes like biting into a peppermint patty, and as an unfortunate victim, I urge you to avoid such a trap at all costs. One of the criticisms of the Dining Hall ice cream is that vanilla is the only flavor fixture. I would wager that a reasonable portion of campus would like it if both flavors were variable. However, thinking of the big picture, the Dining Hall has a nearly unlimited supply of pretty good soft serve ice cream. On Sunday, hot fudge is available, and all it’ll cost to get into this gigantic ice cream buffet is a meal plan.

-compiled by Joe Engleman

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